It is a process…

Although I have never met one of those people,  I have heard stories about people who get up one morning on their fifth or tenth birthday and they declare what they are going to be when they grow up. And then they become just that, because they have a clear, specific career picture in their mind, and they are set for the rest of their lives.

Some I have seen wander this big ocean, not sure which harbor to dock on and they go with the flow. They enjoy that unpredictability, thrive because of it.


Then there are people like me…They wanted to become the usual suspects or more adventurous ones like spies or pilots at one point or another.  As they grow up, they have some vague idea of what they want to be doing but somehow detours happen on the way. And also because they can not put their finger on a specific role, they always seem to be “searching”.

They get the itching feeling time to time that tells them whatever they are doing at that moment is not what they are meant to be doing. There is something else out there… only if they knew how to get there.


No matter how vague, that idea hidden in the dense fog has been valuable for me. Whenever I get restless, my mind keeps circling back to the same thing. I have learned when I need to listen to it. I have also learned that wine usually helps that voice to be louder.

When that voice keeps getting louder even without the wine, it is time to pay attention. At those times, I tend to change something in my life. Because with each change, the fog thins out and I can see the path a bit clearer than before.

The voice seems to have 7-year cycles for me. I have changed my path drastically, twice in 14 years. And gearing up for the third one. Because I had the same feeling yet again. Something is not “enough”. That vague idea kept poking at me. I knew I had to let go of the chains – disguised as the typical securities I can not live without-, take a deep breath and jump!


It is a process for people like me: finding what you want to be, need to be doing. It might be a long one. But nothing is a time waste. At minimum, by crossing out what you don’t want to do, you get closer to what you want. Layer by layer.

I am going back to school full time for a degree that would bring me closer to my fire, my voice – international development/aid work. Not sure how crazy the next 22 months will be. I am thankful for the best life partner and friend I could ever ask for, who is always there for me, supports me in these painful moments and celebrates with me the joyful ones.  I am enjoying the process – all the good and bad parts…I know it will be worth at the end of it.



  1. by Pinar
    5:16 pm
    May 26, 2013

    I know how it feels because I’m one of that people, who generally doesn’t know what to choose when it is easier to see what not to do. I’m happy for you. Good luck!

  2. by Ilke
    8:31 pm
    May 26, 2013

    Thanks Pinar. Luck is indeed needed as well :)

  3. by Jarek
    4:22 am
    May 27, 2013

    Good luck Ilke. Enjoy the journey, the dots will connect :)

  4. by Ilke
    8:46 am
    May 27, 2013

    Thanks Jarek, that is the hope :)

  5. by Angie@Angie's Recipes
    10:27 am
    May 27, 2013

    You are not alone. I still don’t know what I want to be…and I guess by the time I know, it’s going to be too late.
    Enjoy the process and everyday, Ilke.

  6. by Ilke
    1:54 pm
    May 27, 2013

    Thanks Angie, trying to take it day by day :)
    Nikki! Thank you! Hope everything is going well up in W-S! :)

  7. by Nikki
    1:50 pm
    May 27, 2013

    Good luck, Ilke. You’re never too cool for school ;) The change, ebb and flow of our lives is what drives us and you’ve been driven into the big lake called school. I look forward to hearing about your journey!

  8. by Susan
    9:27 am
    May 28, 2013

    As they say, it’s never too late. My daughter just went back to school to get her MBA after being in a job for seven years. She loved the job but after having her first child, she needed to find a job with more ‘normal’ hours.

    Good luck to you, Ilke. I, too, will look forward to hearing about your journey.

  9. by Ilke
    9:29 am
    May 28, 2013

    Thanks Susan, I am going back to get my International MBA, hopefully, to allow me the connections and knowledge to do what I want to do more. Would be interested in comparing notes about MBAs with your daughter later. Hope she can find what is good for her and her family.

  10. by thyme (Sarah)
    1:08 pm
    May 28, 2013

    I am so proud of you. It takes a lot of energy and conviction to derail, works towards a new goal, and have confidence along the way that you are doing the right thing. But, that is what life is about, isn’t it? Goal setting and journeying and discovering…are all there for us to grab a hold of and enjoy the ride. Good luck with the next 22 months of discovery. I always tell my kids…you can always make changes…never feel stuck. Change is always possible.

  11. by john@kitchenriffs
    6:01 pm
    May 29, 2013

    I’m always looking to do new stuff too. This sounds like an exciting new adventure you’re undertaking! It’s going to me fun (work, but fun) – best of luck with it.

  12. by Monet
    12:06 am
    May 30, 2013

    Thank you for sharing these very true thoughts. They resonated with me deeply. I’m excited to see you embarking on this journey. I can’t wait to hear where it takes you. Many blessings, my friend!

  13. by Julie Erickson
    2:29 pm
    Jun 2, 2013

    Best of luck Ilke… You’ll do very well, I’m sure… Please never stop cooking, blogging and sharing.

  14. by Terra
    12:01 am
    Jun 6, 2013

    You will rock this!!!! Enjoy every moment, you deserve this! Hugs, Terra

  15. by Mrs Ergül
    11:35 pm
    Jun 10, 2013

    All the best, Ilke! I applaud people like you with the gusto to pursue what they want in life.

  16. by Joy @MyTravelingJoys
    3:36 am
    Jun 24, 2013

    Good luck! I know it’s not an easy road to take that jump! We jumped to try the expat life abroad and someday we’ll jump back to the US so we can open my own pastry shop. That’s the dream! :-)

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